Market Forays
Market Forays
5
Tuesday
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
About
Market Forays offers Locavore Cooking Classes and Culinary Adventures for leisure travelers. Sustainable Team Building Events for Corporate Groups. Private Chef Services. Classes start at the Fishermen's Market in Santa Barbara Harbor where the freshest seafood is bought right off the boats, and continue to the renowned Saturday Farmers Market with its spectacular selection of produce, flowers, and regional specialties. Menus are built around the freshest seasonal ingredients, combined with a playful attitude and individualized hands-on instruction by a French trained chef. A shared meal paired with premium local wines follows the active part of the class. The dietary preferences of the guests are built into the day's lesson plan to ensure that everyone enjoys the experience. A printed recipe guide is provided. Class wraps up around 3:30 pm. custom private classes available during the week, advance reservation is required.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • Sunshine25157379397
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A very enjoyable experience
    Had a wonderful day with friends as we gathered for a cooking class with Laurence. She welcomed us into her beautiful home and shared her recipes as we cooked and talked. The food was delicious and made with only the freshest ingredients. If you get are visiting Santa Barbara be sure to sign up for a great experience
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 10, 2023
  • Linda S
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Delightful Day Spent With Chef Laurence of Market Forays
    We just returned from a three-day Culinary Tour of Santa Barbara where the highlight of our time there was clearly the day we spent with Chef Laurence of Market Forays. We started the day at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market where Chef guided us through the market, selecting the absolute freshest of amazing fruits, vegetables and produce which became our dinner for the evening. Chef Laurence then welcomed us into her beautiful home and French-style gourmet kitchen where we all engaged in hands-on preparation of what was to become an absolutely scrumptious meal. It was a beautifully welcoming, educational, and inspirational day all the way around, and we would highly recommend this experience to everyone. A day spent with Chef Laurence will not disappoint!
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 23, 2023
  • gibbylou
    Boston, Massachusetts77 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The best culinary culinary experience we ever had!
    We did this as part of an Epitourean culinary tour package for Santa Barbara. We met Chef Laurence in the Santa Barbara farmers' market at 9:00 on Saturday morning. One other couple was also there. We spent over an hour walking through the the market, which was in itself a wonderful experience, checking out all of the farm fresh stations (every stall is "we grow what we sell"), as she showed us tips on how to pick everything on our shopping list. (My wife has the job of carrying the clipboard and checking off all of the items we needed. Then on to the fish market, where fresh vermilion was picked. After that a 10-minute drive to her beautiful home in the foothills, where we gathered in the kitchen (which she designed herself) and prepared our lunch. Each of us took turns cutting, cleaning, and preparing the ingredients for a delicious salad, bruschetta (on freshly baked sourdough bread), lightly fried fish, a side of vegetables, and an amazing blood orange upside down cake for dessert. Then we ate and drank the meal we had prepared and engaged in wonderful conversation until 3 pm. Definitely the best culinary culinary experience we ever had! We are excited to use the recipes we learned when we get home.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 28, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles65 reviews
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Linda S
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
We just returned from a three-day Culinary Tour of Santa Barbara where the highlight of our time there was clearly the day we spent with Chef Laurence of Market Forays. We started the day at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market where Chef guided us through the market, selecting the absolute freshest of amazing fruits, vegetables and produce which became our dinner for the evening. Chef Laurence then welcomed us into her beautiful home and French-style gourmet kitchen where we all engaged in hands-on preparation of what was to become an absolutely scrumptious meal. It was a beautifully welcoming, educational, and inspirational day all the way around, and we would highly recommend this experience to everyone. A day spent with Chef Laurence will not disappoint!
Written October 23, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sunshine25157379397
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
Had a wonderful day with friends as we gathered for a cooking class with Laurence. She welcomed us into her beautiful home and shared her recipes as we cooked and talked. The food was delicious and made with only the freshest ingredients. If you get are visiting Santa Barbara be sure to sign up for a great experience
Written October 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Beth T
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Chef Laurence is a remarkable woman whose warm French charm made us feel like a long time friends immediately upon meeting her! We worked our butts off and the five courses were amazing. This was not just a cooking experience, we started at the pier shopping for fresh seafood and then went to the local farmers' market for the other ingredients we needed for the meal.
After shopping we met at her lovely home which which reminded us of the French countryside. Her lovely kitchen and beautiful gardens set the scene for a wonderful experience.
She gave us a prep sheet and instructions for everything we prepared. Proper knife skills, folding egg whites into cake batter and many other cooking pearls were taught. On a five star rating system, there aren't enough stars to do her justice. Cooking in Santa Barbara with Chef Laurence is a MUST DO!
Written August 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Beth T
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
This was our second cooking experience with Chef Laurence ( Market Forays) and we look forward to a third!. It was definitely a culinary adventure and her motto is perfect-"Always Play with Your Food". She bought two beautiful vermillion rockfish at the harbor with us and we shopped for other needed fruits and vegetables at the amazing Santa Barbara Farmer's Market. Six of us chopped, shelled, mixed, and squeezed to produce a fabulous feast!
Written May 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Beth, I look forward to playing in the kitchen with you and Bob again soon
Written May 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Andrew S
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Solo
Laurence put together a great and memorable experience for my girlfriend and me. She took us through the local Santa Barbara fish and farmers market and discussed how she picks her ingredients for meal preparation. She was a phenomenal host in her beautiful home and engaged us with various prepping and cooking techniques! This was a great overall experience and time well spent! The food we made was super delicious!
Written May 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Andrew, I had a lot of fun cooking with you and Aide!
Written May 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jackie B
Park City, UT28 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
This was an incredible must do experience. From meeting Lawrence at the pier, the incredible Santa Barbara farmers market ( one of the best I've ever been too) the cooking class was fun, interactive and highly informative. Lawrence was the perfect host. From the min you arrived, to the time of our departure it was a perfect experience.
Written October 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian Benda
Brentwood, TN58 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My wife and I had always heard that Santa Barbara was beautiful and that it was a great place for wine. Both are very true, but we would honestly go back if spending more time with Laurence was the only thing we did. What an absolute gem find she and her Market Forays are! If you love food and getting to know interesting people, you HAVE TO do this or you are just simply missing out on the BEST experience in Santa Barbara!

My wife and I did this back in September 2009, so it has been a few months since we returned. I love TripAdvisor, but making the time to get on here and post this review has been difficult. But, that said, we had such a great time and we take so much from this site in planning our vacations, that I could not leave Laurence and you all hanging without posting this review and a few pictures.

Here is how it worked for us: We met Laurence early in the morning down at the pier. Our group was four people (me, my wife, and two others). There were a group of fisherman down on the pier unloading and selling their catch. They all knew Laurence! So, if you arrive early and are not sure where you are supposed to meet or who you are looking for, no worries, they all know her and will help you out. While we were there, Laurence bought some catch for us to cook and eat later in the day. From there, we went to the Santa Barbara Farmers Market, and it was awesome! This is where we picked up the majority of the ingredients needed to prepare our menu later. The selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other delicacies was just incredible! Of course, once again, Laurence knows everyone there (which makes the experience so much better), maybe because she used to run the whole thing. :)

From the market, we went to a local tasting room owned and operated by another one of Laurence's friends. There, we tasted some great wines and got a nice history lesson of the Santa Barbara wine region. Our next stop was to an amazing artisan cheese shop, where Laurence picked up more ingredients and got us to taste at least a half dozen or more unique cheese creations. We were in heaven!

Our final destination was Laurence's beautiful home in Santa Barbara. It was there that we prepared, cooked, learned, ate, drank, laughed, and just had one of the best times of our lives. Laurence was very accommodating to our dietary requests. Our menu included squab, and I have to admit that the thought of eating pigeon scared me a bit. It scared me because I had never eaten it before, but it also scared because it did not sound all that appetizing. Well, it was incredible, and if all squab tasted like Laurence's I would order it any time it was available on a restaurant menu! :)

You know how sometimes when you do activities like this there can be strict time constraints, and when the time is up they are pushing you out the door? Not Laurence! After we were done eating and were just sitting around the table talking and laughing, I looked down at my watch and noticed that this thing was supposed to have been over two hours earlier! So, I told my wife that we needed to ask how we could help to clean up and get out of her hair as we had over-stayed our time. Laurence was just so nonchalant about it all. She said that she would clean up and that we were welcome to stay as long as we wanted. She is such a real, likable, and lovable person! Honestly, when you are with her you feel like you are spending time with Julia Child (who she also knew). :)

Hope this review is helpful. Long, I know, but if you are debating on whether or not to do this, just do it. If you really knew how great it was, you would regret it if you don't. I think Laurence still charges $145 per person, or at least her website says that she does as of me writing this, but she could easily charge double or more and it would still be worth every penny! Thanks, Laurence, Allyson and I hope that we will one day be able to make it back to Santa Barbara and do this all over again!
Written March 24, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ruyama
Oceanside, CA24 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Had a wonderful time with Laurence. It's a great thing to experience the local food sources like the fish market, farmer's market, and cheese shop with someone so familiar with the local sources. No cooking experience is necessary but we learned some great cooking tips, then had a great meal with excellent company. Laurence had tailored our food requests to our menu. Laurence was a great hostess. Thanks Laurence!!! We will see you again.
Written April 4, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dcontino
Ladera Ranch, CA9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2017 • Couples
My husband surprised me with this wonderful experience on our trip to Santa Barbara. Spending the day with Laurence was loads of fun and such an education in all things FOOD. We picked out a whole johnny bass at the fisherman's docks and then had a visual overload at the farmers market picking out the remaining ingredients for our feast. Preparing the meal in Laurence's private home was such a treat and we learned a lot from Chef. We plan to make a date to try another one of her foray's in the near future. If you love to cook do not miss this! Each bite was a delight.
Written September 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jennifer S
Chicago, IL1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2014 • Friends
My sisters, mother, and I spent last Saturday in Laurence's cooking class. As the other reviews have indicated, she is nothing short of amazing. She contacted us ahead of time to ask about food likes/dislikes, dietary restrictions, and if there was anything in particular we wanted to cook. We met her at the harbor in the morning, where all the fishermen knew her well, and selected some wonderful seafood. Then it was off to the farmer's market, where Laurence's food knowledge was apparent. She was able to guide us in how to select produce, cheeses, etc., and introduced us to some wonderful new tastes. We then went to a cheese shop, where we were again able to sample and learn about the different varieties. We even made our own purchases at the farmers market and cheese shop, in order to have a light supper back at home in the evening. Laurence's house was beautiful and she ensured that the menu was designed to teach us several new techniques, so we were able to learn new tricks as we cooked. The food was delicious, and Laurence made us feel very welcome in her home. My only complaint? The food was so delicious that I was stuffed at the end of the meal (not Laurence's fault -- I just couldn't stop eating the fresh-from-the-oven bread as we cooked!). I would recommend this class to cooking experts as well as novices -- if you love good food, you will love this class.
Written February 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Jennifer, Thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderfully descriptive review. It was a pleasure to cook with you and your family. I hope we will get to do it again. Warm regards, Laurence
Written February 20, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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